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Getting an old English sheepdog

(25 Posts)
buzzingmama Wed 29-Aug-18 10:12:33

Hi everyone!
We are thinking of getting a sheepdog... I absolutely love the look of them and they look very fluffy and friendly.. however online I have read some things that concern me.. I’ve seen they have stomach problems and get very gassy in which case I’m totally put off! Is this the case with all of them or just some unlucky ones? Are there any other points I should be aware of apart from the stomach issues? Please advise me! They will also be around the kids- are they good with kids (lots of touching and petting and hugs the kids will want to do!) thanks!

BossWitch Wed 29-Aug-18 10:14:37

Ok you need to do a LOAD more research (not on here) to work out if you are going to be able to look after this dog properly. You seem utterly clueless. Will this be your first dog?

buzzingmama Wed 29-Aug-18 10:22:52

Well surely everyone would be clueless with their first dog!? No need to attack! I have to start somewhere and asking a lot of people... I’m just looking for some advice

Justmuddlingalong Wed 29-Aug-18 10:27:27

They look fluffy due to owners spending hours cleaning and grooming then. Other wise they become stinking matted messes with shit caked to their arse. (Our neighbours when I was a child had one.)

Nesssie Wed 29-Aug-18 10:33:25

So OES need a lot of grooming and maintenance, regular brushing and then taking to a groomers for a proper cut. They shed a medium amount.

They are suppose to be good with families and children but they are large dogs and very playful so perhaps not suitable with very young children in case they knock them over?

Need a fair amount of exercise, twice a day at least. They are not just cute 'dulex dogs' - they are sheepdogs, used for working and herding so bare this in mind.

BossWitch Wed 29-Aug-18 10:48:20

Things to research:

Size - do you know how big a fully grown adult is, will your house & garden be big enough?

Activity levels required - physical and mental. How much walking and how often? Will you be able to do that or will you need a daily dog walker? Can you afford a daily dog walker? What do they need mentally? Will the become destructive if bored/ left alone?

Health - what health problems is the breed probe to? How much do these cost to treat with a vet? How much would pet insurance be for this breed? Can you afford it? How much would treatment be without insurance? Could you afford it? Bear in mind all pure breeds will have specific health issues due to the selective breeding & small gene pool, so chances are your dog WILL have medical issues specific to the breed at some point, as well as normal day to day dog health probs.

Breeding - where are you going to get one? Puppy farms are NOT OKAY and you will be responsible for animal cruelty if you buy from one. Most ads on gumtree, find a pup etc are puppy farms and back yard breeders - research these so you know what you're getting into. If not those, you will need to find a reputable breeder who may not sell to you if they judge you don't know how to look after the animal properly.

Family dynamic - what are they like with kids? I vaguely recall something about them liking to herd children; basically pushing them into a group together where the dog thinks they ought to be, which is probably fine for older kids but not great if you have little ones.

Grooming and cleaning - anything with that much hair is going to require hours of grooming per week. Find out how many. Can you commit to that. If not, how much would a groomer charge? Can you afford it? Then find out about moulting. How much extra cleaning of your house will be created? Do you have time? Can you afford a cleaner if not?

There will be web pages specific to the breed with all this info. Get googling, get reading.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Wed 29-Aug-18 10:51:16

Definitely agree about the cost of grooming. I was amazed when I heard how much owners of large long haired breeds pay for grooming.

Lancelottie Wed 29-Aug-18 10:54:42

A friend (experienced dog owner) has one. After about the first year, they'd abandoned the fluffy Dulux dog look in favour of a short haircut that they could actually groom. He looks like a strange ghostly Labrador, but at least they can get the muck off.

Nice dog, but if he runs into your shins, you know about it.

toomuchhappyland Wed 29-Aug-18 15:25:14

All pedigree dogs were originally bred for a purpose. This then affects their temperament and behaviour. When considering any breed, you have to consider its original purpose and if the associated behaviours will be ones you want. Eg Dalmatians were bred to run alongside carriages for miles a day and therefore have large exercise requirements. Beagles were bred for hunting which means they are happiest in a pack with at least one other dog, and are very hard to train to recall as their instinct is to run off after their prey. OES were bred to work sheep, so they have a need for a lot of exercise and mental stimulation - the sheep-herding breeds are some of the most intelligent dogs (look at border collies) as this is a complex job requiring a lot of thought on the part of the dog. If you’re not going to work sheep with one, you need to think about how you will exercise its brain in other ways - advanced training, games etc. If you want a less demanding family dog, choose one that was bred to be a companion rather than a working breed.

buzzingmama Thu 30-Aug-18 22:20:10

Thanks all for your tips. much appreciated.
Anyone have info on labradoodles? I've spoken to a few people now and have heard more positive info...

Justmuddlingalong Thu 30-Aug-18 22:22:39


Pigletpoglet Thu 30-Aug-18 22:32:17

Start here:
Answer the questions honestly, and this may give you a starting point. Adding a dog to the family is a huge commitment, and as limiting on your choices as having children - there are an awful lot of places that you can't take them!
If you decide that you still want to make the commitment, then take your breed shortlist here:
You can meet all the breeds and the people who are fanatical about them. Ask the difficult questions about the downsides of each breed - the people on the stands should be honest.
When you have chosen a breed, get in touch with the breed club and enquire about going on a puppy list. You may have to wait, you may have to show your face at a few dog shows or other events for breeders to take you seriously as a potential owner. Read up on guidance for health checks, DNA testing, hips and elbow scores etc etc.
If you want the best chance of a healthy pup without issues, then this is how to buy a puppy. Anything advertised on the internet may well be farmed or dodgy in some way.
Good luck!

CarolDanvers Thu 30-Aug-18 22:34:20

I don't think you should get a dog. You sound so silly.

AnExcellentUsername Thu 30-Aug-18 22:34:41

Labradoodles also require a lot of grooming despite whatever bollocks you've no doubt heard to the contrary.

Do more research into dog breeds that might suit your lifestyle rather than plucking breeds out of thin air.

Soontobe60 Thu 30-Aug-18 22:42:24

I had an OES severally years ago. I loved her to bits but when she died I knew I'd never have another. She was as soft as anything, very laid back. However, the need to constantly groom her drove me mad! We ended up keeping her clipped most of the time, which also cost a fortune. If you learn how to clip them yourself you'll save a lot of money. You also need to not be squeamish! I was constantly having to wash her bottom, as she had quite soft poos! She had had her tail docked, as did all OES dogs then. I imaging with a tail it's even worse in the rear end.
I also had to pluck her ears weekly, as the hair soon started to stink in her ears. I remember she was terrified on bonfires night and New Year's Eve because of the fireworks, and if there was under storm she'd be petrified. She also hated the rain and would practically cross her legs to avoid going out for a wee if it was the least bit damp outside. I'm sure some of these things are not common to all OESs but they are certainly high maintenance. Get yourself a nice little whippet instead.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Fri 31-Aug-18 07:10:33

Ooh Discover Dogs is the most fun ever! Go there!

I am a recent but fanatical convert to small dogs, having grown up with big ones and being told that small dogs are yappy and annoying! If you think you’ll want to take the dog with you to pubs etc, or you don’t want a massive car and all that it’s a lot easier. I don’t know what I’d have to drive to be able to fit an OES in the boot but I do know I wouldn’t be able to park it...

Namechangeforthiscancershit Fri 31-Aug-18 07:11:01

Get yourself a nice little whippet instead

Awwww I love whippets!

Ovaltine1 Fri 31-Aug-18 07:16:25

OP, no one is attacking you. You must research more about raising a dog. Being ignorant and then getting a dog because he is "fluffy" is a recipe for disaster.

Consider your house, garden, local parks, your family, kids, working status and finances before you even look at getting a dog. @BossWitch's post is excellent and that's the kind of thing you need to focus on. @pigletpoglet's post has a link. please please use that. And go for a low maintenance dog.

buzzingmama Mon 03-Sep-18 10:38:34

Thanks all for your help. Appreciate your responses! To whoever said I’m silly, not quite sure why that is? Surely any first time dog owner is slightly clueless hence I’m doing my research! Thank you all x

GeckaDiego Mon 03-Sep-18 14:09:17

Also please consider adopting instead of buying. There are many breed specific rescues if you want a specific breed. Otherwise there's nothing wrong with a good old "heinz 57", mongrels often have less health issues due to their mixed breeding. Have you considered an older dog instead of a puppy? Puppies are a lot of hard work and there are dogs of all ages (including puppies) waiting in shelters for their forever homes. A lot of shelters/rescues will also help to match you with the right dog and make sure you're the right match for your newest family member. Good luck with your research and I hope you find the perfect new best friend.

MaMisled Mon 03-Sep-18 14:25:00

I hope you read all these posts op, especially about grooming. We have just a small hairy dog and he honestly needs at least 30 mins attention to his coat daily or he stinks, itches, looks awful and is unhappy. Slugs and scratchy twigs, seeds, grasses etc get caught in it, trapped close to his skin and irritate. You often wouldn't notice them without thorough checking. Mats form quickly without serious brushing and these can cause the dog real pain as they pull and itch.

Deadbudgie Wed 10-Oct-18 10:28:24

Dogs are amazing but breeds need carefully researching. As someone said above purebreeds are bred for a purpose, the tendencies that makes them good at this job are innate. Cross breeds will have any mix of these tendencies which are impossible to predict! Eg think of your kids, one might be very like you, one might be very like it’s dad, and it’s not always (in fact rarely) the good bits of each parent they inherit! Please consider some of the following:

1. Maintenance costs, are the susceptible to health issues, do they need lots of grooming? Lots of exercise and will you need help with this, costs of puppy visits, boarding whilst away etc
2. Exercise requirements
3. Mental stimulation
4. Generally good with kids
5. Size of house/garden
6. Do you like a lap dog or one that’s aloof
7.other pets
8. Travel plans - lots of puppies get car sick, you might have to spend more holidays in UK there’s much lower stock of dog friendly accommodation, city breaks aren’t good. We’re buying a new car and caravan to get rid of this issue😁.
9. Are you prepared to be a dog family, days out walking in the woods, rather than Alton towers
10. What will happen when the dog needs a walk and kids start kicking up a fuss about going out in the rain (we’ve made it very clear to DS from day one this is not an option which will be tolerated and the dog comes first)

Fashionista101 Thu 01-Nov-18 14:50:04

I grew up with an OES and she was the best dog in the world!

I worked part time in a groomers so we didn't have to pay and I was pretty clued up! But would have been very expensive to keep her in her full coat. We did for a fair few years. Then as she got old we shaved it all off as we became incontinent sad but she really was amazing. That's her as an old girl 😍

anniehm Thu 01-Nov-18 15:29:23

Don't know much about old English sheepdogs but collies make good pets if you have the time to train them properly (I spent 1-2 hours a day at first!) they are super clever but that means they pick up bad habits fast and get bored quickly. Once an adult however you have a laid back content dog who basically prefers sleeping to everything apart from walkies (off lead with ball)

Hoppinggreen Sun 04-Nov-18 10:11:01

If you want to know about “labradoodles “ research Labradors and Poodles. List the worst traits of both and decide if you could cope with a dog that exhibits all of them.
Cross breeds can be the best if both breeds/the worst of both breeds/a combination but as there is no way of knowing research both.
So you could get a very greedy hyper intelligent dog that needs lots of exercise but will bin raid and have joint issues for example.

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